It was also pointed out that the responsibility lies with Nigerians but also the foreigners, who live, work or do business in Nigeria, for the benefit of all

The feeling within conference was adopting a governmental approach to improve security

The 2nd West Africa Oil & Gas Security 2015 Summit, organised by global Summits organiser IRN, and held on 10-11 June 2015 at the Eko Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria, brought together senior-level security specialists from IOCs, NOCs, major service providers and governmental bodies to debate the security issues affecting the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and wider West Africa.

In terms of the national security, the feeling within the conference was that adopting a whole governmental approach is essential to improve security in the West African countries. All sectors have a responsibility to support the national security establishment as there is a need for greater unity of purpose within the government parastatals to improve security in the country. It was also pointed out that the responsibility lies with Nigerians but also the foreigners, who live, work or do business in Nigeria, for the benefit of all.

Implement the ISPS Code by the African countries

This sentiment was also felt in the maritime sessions on the second day, where it appeared that there is not a real political will to implement the ISPS Code by the African countries at present. The delegation called for them to come together in partnership with the Governments of West Africa to fight piracy, armed robbery attacks and hijacking in the Gulf of Guinea.

As for local communities, the need for lateral thinking was also highlighted, with delegates pointing out the fact that those working in artisanal refineries require basic engineering expertise. Those engaged in illegal oil production could therefore be a great asset to the legal industry if they were trained and invested in by the IOCs and NOCs. It is clear that local communities are still not benefiting enough from the wealth created by the oil and gas industry, and more needs to be done to address this if the industry is to be lucrative.

Importance of private security

Additionally, speakers drew attention to the importance of private security, which is gradually coming into the limelight and will continue to be a lucrative profession in a few years from now. The delegation agreed it should be a collective responsibility to position this profession the same way as it is in the USA, UK and other countries of the world.

Over two days, panel discussions focused on community engagement and Corporate Social Responsibility, as well as on the challenges around disaster and crisis management for the oil and gas industry. Other presentations and case studies focused on topics such as:

  • terrorism as a challenge for energy security
  • business travel security
  • managing the threat of kidnap for ransom
  • enhancing security strategies to prevent theft and petty criminality
  • oil theft in the Niger Delta
  • creating a port security plan

International companies in attendance

Among the international companies in attendance were:

Asis, ABZ Oil & Gas, Addax Petroleum, Akhanani Distributors, ALPS Services, Atmos International, Bosch, Broron Oil & Gas, Bureau Veritas, Control Risk, Edinburgh International, Energy Institute, Essimacs International Security, Eyespy Security Services, Fanmilk, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Forts and Shields, Gardaworld Nigeria, GEOS, Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria, K2 Solutions, Kano Electricity Distribution, Kontz Engineering, Megastar Tech & Construction, NASC, Ministry of Defence, Nigeria LNG, Nigerian Navy (NIMASA), Nigerian Airforce, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NPDC, Ocean Marine Security, Oceanwater Marine & Oil, Peonus Consultants, PGI, Proton Security Services, PwC, SAA West Africa, Saipem, Sea Petroleum & Gas, Seaquest Energy, Seplat Petroleum Development, Shell Nigeria, Shorange Petroleum, Subsea7, Tenaris Global Services, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and more.

Senior level delegates have judged the turnout as ‘very impressive’; the meeting a ‘well organised Summit [with] fascinating speakers and very articulated topics’; others were pleased by ‘a very fine blend of presentations’ or found that ‘the Summit will contribute to grow and add value in the Nigerian oil and gas industry’.

The Summit’s official Sponsors were the pipeline protection company; Atmos International; maritime security experts, Ocean Marine Security; security engineering provider, Kontz Engineering; canine oil detection services, K2 Solutions; bulletproof wears supplier, Forts and Shields; and Proton Security Services. The forum was also supported by the Information Security Forum, and the Africa Gas Association.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Managing security during unprecedented times of home working
Managing security during unprecedented times of home working

Companies are following government guidance and getting as many people as possible working from home. Some companies will have resisted home working in the past, but I’m certain that the sceptics will find that people can be productive with the right tools no matter where they are. A temporary solution will become permanent. But getting it right means managing risk. Access is king In a typical office with an on-premise data centre, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications. CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, and collaborative communication toolsBut as we know, CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, applications and collaborative communication tools that they do on a regular basis from the office or on the train. Indeed, the new generation of video conferencing technologies come very close to providing an “almost there” feeling. Hackers lie in wait Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical servers. Less than a month ago, we emerged from a period of chaos. For months hackers had been exploiting a vulnerability in VPN products from Pulse Secure, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, and Citrix. Patches were provided by vendors, and either companies applied the patch or withdrew remote access. As a result, the problem of attacks died back.  But as companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on. That’s because remote desktop protocol (RDP) has been for the most part of 2019, and continues to be, the most important attack vector for ransomware. Managing a ransomware attack on top of everything else would certainly give you sleepless nights. As companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical serversExposing new services makes them also susceptible to denial of service attacks. Such attacks create large volumes of fake traffic to saturate the available capacity of the internet connection. They can also be used to attack the intricacies of the VPN protocol. A flow as little as 1Mbps can perturbate the VPN service and knock it offline. CIOs, therefore, need to acknowledge that introducing or extending home working broadens the attack surface. So now more than ever it’s vital to adapt risk models. You can’t roll out new services with an emphasis on access and usability and not consider security. You simply won’t survive otherwise. Social engineering Aside from securing VPNs, what else should CIO and CTOs be doing to ensure security? The first thing to do is to look at employee behaviour, starting with passwords. It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposed. Best practice would be to get all employees to reset their passwords as they connect remotely and force them to choose a new password that complies with strong password complexity guidelines.  As we know, people have a habit of reusing their passwords for one or more online services – services that might have fallen victim to a breach. Hackers will happily It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposedleverage these breaches because it is such easy and rich pickings. Secondly, the inherent fear of the virus makes for perfect conditions for hackers. Sadly, a lot of phishing campaigns are already luring people in with the promise of important or breaking information on COVID-19. In the UK alone, coronavirus scams cost victims over £800,000 in February 2020. A staggering number that can only go up. That’s why CIOs need to remind everyone in the company of the risks of clickbait and comment spamming - the most popular and obvious bot techniques for infiltrating a network. Notorious hacking attempts And as any security specialist will tell you, some people have no ethics and will exploit the horrendous repercussions of CV-19. In January we saw just how unscrupulous hackers are when they started leveraging public fear of the virus to spread the notorious Emotet malware. Emotet, first detected in 2014, is a banking trojan that primarily spreads through ‘malspam’ and attempts to sneak into computers to steal sensitive and private information. In addition, in early February the Maze ransomware crippled more than 230 workstations of the New Jersey Medical Diagnostics Lab and when they refused to pay, the vicious attackers leaked 9.5GB or research data in an attempt to force negotiations. And in March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHO and healthcare organisations in general since the pandemic broke. We’ll see lots more opportunist attacks like this in the coming months.   More speed less haste In March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHOFinally, we also have bots to contend with. We’ve yet to see reports of fake news content generated by machines, but we know there’s a high probability it will happen. Spambots are already creating pharmaceutical spam campaigns thriving on the buying behaviour of people in times of fear from infection. Using comment spamming – where comments are tactically placed in the comments following an update or news story - the bots take advantage of the popularity of the Google search term ‘Coronavirus’ to increase the visibility and ranking of sites and products in search results. There is clearly much for CIOs to think about, but it is possible to secure a network by applying some well thought through tactics. I believe it comes down to having a ‘more speed, less haste’ approach to rolling out, scaling up and integrating technologies for home working, but above all, it should be mixed with an employee education programme. As in reality, great technology and a coherent security strategy will never work if it is undermined by the poor practices of employees.

How does audio enhance security system performance?
How does audio enhance security system performance?

Video is widely embraced as an essential element of physical security systems. However, surveillance footage is often recorded without sound, even though many cameras are capable of capturing audio as well as video. Beyond the capabilities of cameras, there is a range of other audio products on the market that can improve system performance and/or expand capabilities (e.g., gunshot detection.) We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does audio enhance the performance of security and/or video systems? 

How have standards changed the security market?
How have standards changed the security market?

A standard is a document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes, and/or practices. Standards surround every aspect of our business. For example, the physical security marketplace is impacted by industry standards, national and international standards, quality standards, building codes and even environmental standards, to name just a few. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have standards changed the security market as we know it?